HAGERSTOWN, MD—Noting that the large public university had suddenly emerged as the high school student’s top choice for the fall, sources confirmed Wednesday that a single weekend spent with a friend who attends Penn State completely superseded all of graduating senior Tyler Pince’s college research over the past five months.
The 18-year-old, who has attended numerous sessions with a guidance counselor at his high school and spent many hours discussing prospective colleges with his parents, reached his decision following two days in which he attended a Nittany Lions basketball game, had a number of drinks at an off-campus house party, and met several students—including a “really cool” member of the school’s lacrosse team—who live in the same dorm as Jeff Whitmore, a Penn State freshman and friend from Pince’s hometown.
“It was an amazing weekend, and I think the school would be a really good fit for me,” said Pince, who had previously determined that the individualized attention of a liberal arts college would suit him better than a school with tens of thousands of undergraduates, but has reportedly changed his mind following the visit in which he spent a total of 25 minutes walking through the actual campus. “My buddy Jeff’s dorm room is pretty nice. He has a mini-fridge that he keeps some food and beers in, and he introduced me to some guys on his floor who all seemed pretty cool. His roommate even skipped a lecture to hang out with us. It’s awesome to know you can do that.”
“Later, we went out to a bunch of bars near campus, and at one of them the guy at the door didn’t even check ID,” Pince continued. “I guess I can just kind of see myself at Penn State, you know?”
Reports indicated that while Pince recently attended a college fair at which he found himself impressed with the course offerings and financial-aid packages of several schools in his home state of Maryland, all such considerations were dismissed after he went to an ’80s-themed party at a Penn State fraternity house where he drank Keystone Light from a plastic cup and helped hold his friend’s legs for a keg stand.
According to sources, Pince never actually entered any of the campus’s academic facilities, coming closest when he was drunkenly stumbling back from the party and happened to urinate on the side of the Applied Science Building.
“They let you take as much food as you want in the cafeteria, which is really nice,” said the student who has spent more than a dozen cumulative hours exploring various colleges’ websites for insights into their academic programs, before explaining that Whitmore helped him sneak into the dining hall and used his unlimited meal plan to get Pince breakfast from the make-your-own-omelet station. “If you’re a student there, you can use your card to buy Gatorade and Doritos and stuff like that. They have a little convenience store in the dorm lobby.”
“Jeff told me that you can even set up your schedule so you don’t have classes on Fridays―how great is that?” Pince continued. “I talked to this one guy who doesn’t have any classes before noon and gets to sleep in every day.”
During his 44-hour visit, Pince reportedly met a student who described the university as a “really good school” and its academic reputation as “pretty solid,” assessments that are said to have convinced the 12th-grader that Penn State would be a good place for him to study, even though he has long planned to major in public policy, a degree not offered by any department on the campus.
“There are also a lot of really good-looking girls there, too, which doesn’t hurt anything,” said Pince, whose bedroom bookshelf currently contains several volumes with titles like The Best 380 Colleges and Peterson’s Four-Year Colleges, as well as the “Best Colleges” issue of U.S. News & World Report, the entire contents of which he has now disregarded. “I really liked it a lot. At this point, I honestly can’t see myself going anywhere else.”
At press time, sources confirmed at least three friends in Pince’s high school class are planning to attend Penn State after hearing him talk about his weekend.